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Brazil’s Batista Brothers Are Out of Jail And Worth $6 Billion

  • Their JBS dominates global meatpacking as demand soars
  • Back to acquisitions, they focus on basics while diversifying
Wesley and Joesley Batista
Wesley and Joesley BatistaPhotographer: Paulo Vitale/J&F Investimentos

Just under four years ago, brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista were in Brazilian prison cells with concrete bunk beds, their multibillion-dollar meat empire near collapse in one of the world’s biggest corporate corruption scandals.

Today, they’re not only free men but their company, JBS, is worth three times what it was then, operates in 20 countries and controls a quarter of U.S. beef processing. The brothers, worth $5.8 billion, hold stakes in companies with $28 billion in assets, towering over all other meat barons.